Wigan Athletic in the Championship

With Everton confirming that their new manager will be Roberto Martinez it will be interesting to see what Wigan Athletic will do in the Championship.
Wigan
Martinez did a great job keeping the club in the Premier League for many seasons and winning the FA Cup but they now need to try and get back into the top division without him. The next manager has to come and in be successful because if they don’t get promoted at the first attempt I think they will be stuck in the Championship for many years to come and could even fall further down the leagues. Instead of looking at who the new manager could be, I am going to look at the players that could get them back into the Premier League. The club still does have some very good players and they play football in the right way so the players may be convinced to stay for at least one season to see how they do. One advantage they do have is none of their players are big names so maybe they will be left alone and none will be bought off them but Martinez may want one or two of the players.

I cannot see many defenders leaving the club because that was always their problem, too many mistakes at the back and a lack of quality. Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell are two players that I think they need to keep because they will be good in the Championship and have enough experience to help the younger players in the squad as the second tier is a lot different and they will need their older players to make sure they follow their manager’s orders on the field. I think they will lose their best defender in Maynor Figueroa and they definitely need more quality at the back to succeed.
Gary Caldwell
Midfield is probably where they are the strongest but they will face a difficult challenge keeping hold of them. James McCarthy and James McArthur are fantastic footballers and would fit into a lot of teams and I think they will play for bigger teams in the future. Callum McManaman is getting a lot of the headlines at the moment but I hope he stays for one more season to help himself develop rather than joining a club where he isn’t going to be guaranteed first team football. Shaun Maloney is another good footballer but I think he will struggle to get another Premier League club that won’t be battling against relegation.
Callum McManaman
Wigan have always been quite weak upfront but somehow they managed to get just enough goals to keep them up. For the first time they had a striker that could be a regular scorer in the Premier League and that is Arouna Kone who has had a decent season and will surely move this summer. Another good striker who doesn’t get enough goals but does add something is Franco Di Santo. I think he should stay at Wigan and hopefully get some confidence from scoring the goals that get the club back in the Premier League.
Franco Di Santo

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Who will be relegated from the Premier League?

Relegation from the Premier League can be tough on any team and it is the magic 40 point mark that a lot of teams aim for first even when they are not expected to get relegated. Even mid table teams don’t want to get dragged into a battle so they aim to get their as fast as possible and then build on that.

Inevitably the promoted teams are always the favourites to go straight back down and there is no change this year, with Reading being one of the teams that need a good start to the season or it could be a very long year for their fans. They have however some good signings in the summer which will surely give them a better chance in the always reliable Danny Guthrie and striker Pavel Pogrebnyak who had a very good goal scoring record at Fulham last year. They do lack a little experience in the Premier League throughout their squad so Jason Roberts and Ian Harte will both be essential to their side.

Norwich City have a new manager this season in Chris Hughton and he has the difficult task of following in the footsteps of Paul Lambert. But, he has inherited a good team that was comfortable in the Premier League last year and there will be a lot of talk of second season syndrome but Hughton has performed minor miracles before at both Newcastle United and Birmingham City so I am sure he will be a success here too.

Nigel Adkins hasn’t changed much at Southampton in the close season so he obviously believes that this team are good enough to stay up but I think they need a little more especially considering the start to the season they have. In the opening five games they have to play both the Manchester clubs and Arsenal so like Bolton last season they may be demoralised before the season has even really begun. The signings of Jay Rodriguez and Nathaniel Clyne would have been very impressive in the Championship and even though I rate both of them highly they just might not be able to cut it in the Premier League.

Wigan Athletic will always be considered as one of the favourites for relegation no matter how they finish the previous season. At the end of last season they were one of the most in form teams in the whole league but that have lost Hugo Rodallega and Mohamed Diame who have both been influential in the past for them. The signing of Arouna Kone may show their intent of finishing a lot higher up than they have in previous seasons but they will always be considered as the underdog in the Premier League but maybe they like it that way.

Swansea City are one of many teams with a new manager this year and a lot of people are already writing off Michael Laudrup before he has even took charge of them for the first time in a competitive game. They won’t have to change their style much under the new manager but maybe this is the problem because a lot of teams will have now worked out ways to stop them and they still don’t really have an option B so it will be a tough task for them to stay up.

For me it will be Swansea City, Southampton and Reading that go down.